The Police Association of NSW has welcomed the government decision to hire 1500 new officers in the next four years, but it has a long list of demands.
It is asking all candidates to address their concerns and make a commitment before the 2019 state elections.
PANSW president, Tony King, said they have identified what police officers require to do their job, and maintain health and wellbeing throughout their careers.
“We will then inform the 16,715 police officers in NSW, their families, and every member of the community who Backs the Blue, of each candidate’s commitments,” Mr King noted in a pre-election submission.
Among the major demands put forward by the association was the recruitment of additional 2500 police officers in the state, which was partially met by the state government on Tuesday, and proper services for community members with mental illness.
It sought funds for replacement and upgrading of police stations in Gosford, Bathurst, Cessnock, Eastwood, Singleton, Broken Hill, Coleambally, Young and Cootamundra.
It said the police need additional regional enforcement squads in each of the three country regions.
“Mental health services are failing people with mental illnesses,” its pre-election demand document said.
“Rather than receiving the support they need, some people are reaching crisis point and police are forced to become involved.
“An early intervention in a health setting would be far more beneficial for everyone involved.”
PANSW is demanding devoted mental health funding for creating sufficient capacity in community-based treatment and providing comprehensive wrap-around services.
It also asked candidates to increase the number of pediatric intensive care units, mental health initiative care units, along with beds and nurses in the state.
“Ensure there are enough nurses, in particular nurses with mental health qualifications, to allow for appropriate staffing levels to provide care effectively and safely,” it said.
The association asked candidates to ensure police officers are not involved in transporting prisoners and put back on emergency duties.
It said police needed infrastructure and equipment to respond to high-risk incidents.
“Commitment is needed for new mobile command vehicles for all police area commands and districts, and relevant specialist units ensuring the new vehicles are fit for purpose and assist police in responding to high-risk incidents,” it said.
The association wants wage cap removed to allow workers to seek fair pay rises.
“The associations calls on all candidates to commit to removing the wages cap and repealing s146C of the Industrial Relations Act 1996 to ensure workers can enter into fair negotiations with their employees.”